On Thursday, 2 November, Latvijas Banka is issuing a new 5 euro silver collector coin "Smith forges in the sky" dedicated to Latvian folk songs.
The graphic design of the collector coin was created by artist Edgars Folks, whereas the author of the plaster model was Ligita Franckeviča. The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).
Latvijas Banka's collector coin, dedicated to Latvian folk songs, features some lines from a Latvian folk song and the drawings of artist Edgars Folks. The obverse of the coin displays a bearded rider wearing an ancient Latvian hero's outfit and throwing lightning bolts all around (Thunder). The reverse of the coin features a shawl spread on the ground and silver jewellery falling from the sky.
The obverse of the coin bears an inscription "Kalējs kala debesīs, ogles bira Daugavā." (Smith forges in the sky, the coals burst into the Daugava), whereas the reverse features an inscription "Es paklāju villainīti, man piebira sudrabiņa." (I spread my shawl on the ground and collect a pile of silver).
The drawings depict objects of nature and natural phenomena. As this is a very common motif in folk songs, this particular category of folk songs takes up quite a lot of space in Krišjānis Barons (1835–1923) Cabinet of Folk Songs, featured on the list of Registered Heritage of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme since 2001. Thunder or the Heavenly Smith is accompanied by Sun and the daughters of Sun, Moon and an array of stars.
The Latvian name for folk songs, dainas, is borrowed from Lithuanian and has become a key word for the folk song tradition and the accomplishments of Krišjānis Barons as well as a symbol of the Latvian identity. The Cabinet of Folk Songs now forms a part of the Latvian folklore collection and is located at the Latvian National Library, while the mythical folk songs are still able to inspire us and sometimes enable us to look at the world almost like through the eyes of a child. There are bright and dark days in life as well as in folk songs. Silver sparks light up the world.
The collector coin "Smith forges in the sky" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as they are, in fact, works of art and are in special demand among coin collectors and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 4 000.
The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is 47 euro. Beginning with 2 November, the coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja) as well as online via Latvijas Banka's collector coin and other numismatic product site at e-monetas.lv offering a wide range of collector coins and other numismatic products issued by Latvijas Banka.
In close cooperation with JSC Swedbank, the possibility to pay by VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard un Maestro payment cards as well as via the internet banks of JSC Swedbank, JSC Citadele banka and JSC SEB banka has been ensured. All purchased collector coins and numismatic products can be collected at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices in Riga and Liepāja (for their addresses, see https://www.bank.lv/en/about-us/cashier-s-office) as well as by using delivery services of SJSC Latvijas Pasts within the territory of Latvia. It is most likely to suit the needs of customers, e.g. from regions, who are busy on the initial days of launching a new coin or due to other reasons cannot visit the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka.
The coin will also be available at such traditional points of sale as numismatic shops, book stores and souvenir and jewellery shops (https://monetas.bank.lv/images/stories/pielikumi/nauda/Monetu-tirdzniecibas-vietas.pdf).